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07/22/2008

When you wish reason upon a Star, it makes a difference (to her) who you are

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 19-32And now for your reading pleasure, conservative personality Star Parker will put this whole "culture war" in perspective. This from a commentary Star has written on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and its possible repeal:

The culture war is like the recipe for boiling a frog. If you drop it in hot water, it jumps out. But if you drop it in cold water and slowly turn up the heat, you get frog soup.

Concession by concession, traditional values are being pushed, inexorably, to the margins of America.

It's a sign of this moral war of attrition that each battle is fought with less and less attention to what it means to the overall war.

Acceptance of openly gay people in the military means the next discussion will be qualification of gay couples for the same benefits received by traditional military families.

200807221145This writer first suppresses his instincts to either throw his computer out of the window or scream (or both), then musters this exasperated reply:

Okay, Star, despite our failure to see why me must bring ribbiting amphibians into this, we'll go with you on your little frog journey. However, the gays in this simile are not the chefs who are controlling the dial. Instead, the gays are the frogs who don't wish to suffer at the whims of those who've determined they deserve a fire-cooked fate!

Lack of concession by lack of concession, so called "traditional values" have refused to adapt to the fact that gay people exist among us. And since they have not been able to completely push gays to the margins of America, the proponents of these "values" have desperately tried to reposition their "fight" in a way that makes it sound as if they are the ones being stymied. Which is exactly why they have positioned it as a "war" in a first place -- so they can turn one community's struggle for freedom into a two-sided skirmish in which logical fairness is supposedly unfair because it comes at the cost of bias.

It's a sign of the social conservatives' lack of valid argument that they have to stick to this "war" meme so ferociously. Few on their side can ever address one matter of pro-gay policy without tying it in to this supposed "battle" we gays are waging on the whole of society. They act as if by taking these individual steps towards the rights, benefits, and privileges that we've fully admitted we want and feel we deserve, we are laying land mines for the covert war that we are waging in the shadows. It's as absurd as it is offensive.

So what will the inevitable acceptance of openly gay soldiers really mean? Well, it will mean we gays have triumphed over the far-right's fear-mongery, battle-happy campaigns of misinformation in order to achieve another of our reasoned goals. It will mean that the frogs did not sit idly by and allow others to turn up the heat!
Ribbit, ribbit.

Gays in the military [ONN]

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Your thoughts

Actually, the general population are the frogs in her analogy. Dropping massive cultural change on them is like dropping the frog into a pot of boiling water. Slowly and incrementally increasing the cultural change on the general population is akin to slowly turning up the heat on the frog. The people and the frog don't notice so much until it's too far gone to turn back. The culture has made it to that radically different state and the frog is dinner.

I agree with her, but not with the place that her bigotry comes from. The general public will only accept changes in small increments. She's right, that the next step would be to offer benefits to spouses of gay service members, but that can only come after the repeal of DADT. If we had tried to get marriage in California ten years ago, it never would have passed. However, after gaining DP rights and seeing that the sky didn't fall, and then having a small state (MA) and countries like Canada overturn the ban on same-sex marriage, only then were we able to go that next step towards marriage equality.

Look at it from the other way around - if the government had said ten years ago that it was going to tap whatever international phone calls it wanted to, we'd have been up in arms. But instead, the Patriot Act has been slowly built upon to expand the government's spying practices. Little by little, we give up our freedoms to where we are now, a place that we never willingly would have gone to directly.

Posted by: Duckie | Jul 22, 2008 12:29:46 PM

Well duckie, there is no definitive answer as to who is the "frog." If you want to accept her logic as is and extend it to the entire population, then yes, you can totally make your case. But it's just a different perspective, not the "right" answer.

I preferred to recast the situation in a different way, mainly because I see no need to harm a frog. And if one does want to use phrasing in which some creature IS harmed, then I would liken that creature to the gays, because I quite seriously feel that the ONLY people who are truly being harmed by this particular aspect of the so-called "culture war" are LGBT people.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jul 22, 2008 12:47:11 PM

Very well said, Jeremy. And Duckie, if what you are saying is that the boiled frog is a euphemism that they use when referring to prejudice, then I fully agree with you. And, those frogs tend to be pretty die hard - some times you just have to wait 'til the old fuckers die off.

But one thing about the Star Parkers of the world: they're very comfortable with the WAR vernacular, but they never own up to the fact that they are the aggressors and that society as a whole is their enemy. Ms. Parker may not remember a time when she belonged to an unpopular minority. If she doesn't then it is entirely due to the fact that those warrior-counterparts of hers from an earlier era lost those "battles" in this "war" that she now finds herself waging. And all for some stupid frog!

I can't say that I have ever eaten any frog soup, but if that is what it takes, then "frogs be damned." Maybe there are starving children somewhere who find boiled frogs palatable. Ms. Parker will just need to find herself a new pet frog - euphemistically speaking, of course. (GOD! it sounds like a sex-toy when you put it that way)

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jul 22, 2008 1:47:15 PM

G-A-Y wrote "It's a sign of the social conservatives' lack of valid argument that they have to stick to this "war" meme so ferociously."

I think it's also why social conservatives are so tightly linked to religion. The anti-gay secular opposition has largely dissipated in response to reason/logic-based argument. But the religious fanatic's fundamental belief system is based on superstition and delusion, and by extension, truth is whatever they want it to be. So
when they try to articulate non-bible-based reasons to the secular world for opposition to gay equality, the "logic" falls flat.

It is interesting how they will reject scientific findings that conflict with their delusional beliefs, but at the same time, recognizing that seculars value science, they are eager to apply a scientific veneer onto their beliefs as a promotional tool. It doesn't matter how fraudulent the science is, they just look the other way. That's how people like Paul Cameron stay in business.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Jul 22, 2008 2:20:48 PM

Of course she's going to slam gays. It's paying her mortgage.

Posted by: Bernie Keating | Jul 22, 2008 2:31:16 PM

Speaking of "culture wars", which abortion # is she on now? The last time I read, from her own words, it was about 5.

Just remember her lovely words about gay people, from last year's "value voters summit":

http://youtube.com/watch?v=nvhn43BmdWM

Posted by: Scott | Jul 22, 2008 2:34:42 PM

Back when I was growing up with crazy Baptists, the frog analogy was always their favorite one to use to attack social change. It's sad how their arguments never get smarter... but I guess they don't either so it makes sense.

Posted by: May | Jul 22, 2008 3:25:49 PM

Just let me know when Star Parker gets close to a pot of boiling water.

Posted by: JeffRob | Jul 22, 2008 6:01:20 PM

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